Monday, September 6, 2010

Saving $ with Coupons (Part 2)

In my last blog entry, I started my posts on my findings on saving money and using coupons. I am still posting on the info. I found on http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ Yes, you are able to go to the site and read the articles for yourself, but me posting them is helping me learn the concepts. Thanks for reading.

4. Shop with Cash: You will very likely see savings on your grocery bill if you shop with cash. It forces you to stick to your budget. If you don't have the $ in hand, then you can't spend it. Using a debit or credit card gives you a leeway to go over that $2 or so each time. If you go over just a few dollars every time, that will not seem like much at the time, but will add up by the end of the year. It could be as much as a $100 or so.
~Use the envelope system to put your cash in.
*Guidelines: 1. Commit to only spend what is in your grocery envelope for the next three months. 2. Go to bank and with drawl cash in the amount of your predetermined grocery budget. 3. Leave your credit/debit card at home. 4. Calculate purchases on a calculator as you add them to your cart. (Be sure to note last entry amount each time, just in case you accidentally hit clear. Speaking from experience. ) 5. PAY WITH CASH.

5. The Buy Ahead Principle: One of the biggest successes to grocery savings. NEVER PAY RETAIL.

--if you are patient and observant, you can buy most items at %0% or more off.

---How To Build a Stockpile;
1. Designate a small portion of your grocery budget to building up your stockpile. - $5- 10/wk on deeply discounted items.
2. Designate an area in your home to store your stockpile.
3. Determine when enough is enough.

6. Shop at more than one store. Take time to scout out the stores nearby and pick a few stores which have the best deals and sales.
~make a list of all the stores in your area.
~visit your stores and record prices of 25 items you routinely buy.
~find out what your local stores coupon and mark down policies are. - double coupons? limitations? expired coupons? store coupons used in addition to manufactures coupons? competitors coupons? reduces produce, dairy and meats on regular basis? when?
~determine which stores regularly have the lowest prices and best values?

7. Everyone should use coupons - coupons are available for all foods, not just processed foods. Use coupons wisely..wait for items to go on sale and then use your coupon.

8. 10 ways to get free coupons:
~1. ask friends or relatives for their extra coupon inserts.
~2. stop by Starbucks/McDonalds on Sundays... people will throw away those inserts.
~3. make friends with someone who delivers papers.
~4. trade coupons. Try http://www.hotcouponworld.com/
~5. Join a coupon train.
~6. check your library for those inserts. The library does not keep the coupon inserts.
~7. dumpster dive: some of my friends have been able to get great deals this way.
~8. pick up coupons at the stores.
~9. print coupons online.
~10. write the companies and ask to be put on their special mailing lists.

Ok, there you have part two. This last weekend, I bought my papers and am currently in the middle of the huge mountain of coupons to organize. Tomorrow evening I will be going to the store and purchasing some items. I will post on how I did. Wish me luck.

Until next time...

Saving $ with Coupons...


Like I posted in my last blogpost, I am learning about saving with coupons. I have spent some of the day reading everything I could on how to cut your grocery budget. Things I have learned have not been extremely suprising, but I thought I would pass it on to you. I am using mostly the website http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ The site has an abundance of information on saving $. The article I read is called 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. There are several posts in this article, but for the sake of time, I am hitting the highlights. You can find out more info by visiting the site and reading the article yourself. Here we go.

As stated in the article..
1. Stop Making Excuses and commit to a Change.
2. You Need a Budget. This one is self explanatory,but a budget keeps you on track. Without a budget, bargin shopping and couponing is not going to save you money. To start your budget, start slow....average your grocery spending for 4-8 weeks. Be realistic in your goals and set a goal for 5% at a time.
3. Menu Planning Saves Your Sanity and Your Budget. This is a MUST. By having a menu, you save numerous trips to the store. It also saves you the stress of that 5 o'clock "What am I going to have for dinner?" issue. A little planning will save you time and money.
--Shop your Cupboards- look in freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. You may find the "beginnings" of a yummy meal. You can use the Ingredients Search page from http://www.allrecipes.com/
--Consult Sales Flyers- plan menus based on what is on sale at your local stores. Check out those flyers in the newspaper or find them online. The hottest deals of the week are listed on the front page. These items are called "loss leaders", which means they are items that the stores are breaking even on or losing money on. The items are used to lure you into the store to get you to shop.
--Survey Your Coupons- pull out that coupon box and match up your coupons with items on sale. Be sure to use "high value" coupons and "free items" coupons. Put these coupons on the There will be times when the pantry is bare, the budget is weak, and the sales are down. At these times, try checking out your favorite food blogs, such as http://www.tammysrecipes.com/ or www.orgjunkie.com/menu-plan-monday These sites may give you some ideas or recipes to use. There are tons of recipe sites out there to help you work with small amounts of ingredients. Try a method that works for you when it comes to menu planning. Pre-established menu ideas are a good way to take that "work" out of planning. Ideas that I have found are: Monday-pasta, Tues-Soup/sandwhiches, Wednesday-stirfry, Thurs.- crockpot, Fri.- pizza, Sat.-something new, and Sun.- something easy. This idea came from the website www.simplemom.net/a-monthly-menu-plan-for-the-spring. There are lots of recipe ideas on this site.
This is only #3 in the 31 Days article and because there is so much, I plan on taking sections at a time to talk about. The last thing I would suggest is find menu planning forms to use. You can find them at just about any menu planning site, but I found some at http://www.moneysavingmom.com/

I hope this is helpful and as always, please feel free to post your thoughts, suggestions and ideas that work for you. Thanks.
~Until next time,
Gayla

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Couponing....

I was at church this morning and I spoke to a gal who has recently started couponing. She gave me several websites to check out. I am sending them your way as I think everyone needs to have this info available. I have not "couponed" in the past, because I thought I needed to stick to what I would always buy. She told me that I needed to be willing to buy what is on sale and then schedule a menu around what is on sale. I am new to this concept of couponing and am looking for any advice one could give me. Please feel free to post a comment on here ro email me at prairieflower67@gmail.com I will attempt to post what I have learned as I go along. Starting a new adventure...exciting.

Here are the websites she gave me. Please feel free to post any you find helpful.
1. www.iheartcoupondeals.blogspot.com
2. www.krazycouponlady.com
3. www.moneysavingmom.com
4. www.totallytarget.com

~Until next time.
Happy Blogging

Hello Little One!


INTRODUCING...ROXIE.
Ok so for those who follow my blog, you will notice that I just posted that we had to put down our pet, Miss Kitty. We we have since purchased a new little kitty from the pound in Pittsburg, KS. What a cutie. She was posted on the SEK Humane Society website. She had two sisters that were also available. After some discussion, Maggie decided that she "wanted to plug the hole in her heart" that Miss Kitty left behind. We met the little kitten and were instantly smitten with her. She is such a cute, spunky cat and had already brought great joy into our home. After bringing her home, I saw my daughter smile for the first time in over a week. I decided then that we had made the right decision. So....we are all having fun getting to know this little kitten. She loves human companionship and play. She loves to jump up on the bed and get right in my husband's face. Her name is Roxie and we think she has some Russian Blue in her.

If you are ever in the market for a new pet, I would seriously consider the local pound in your area. They were very polite and willing to work with us... We have not been disappointed.

~Until next time..
Happy Blogging

We said goodbye to a dear pet...


Sadly, we had to say good bye to a wonderful family pet. Miss Kitty came into our home in 2003 as a gift to our then 6 year old daughter...she was quite the wild cat at first, but after many years of work, Maggie was able to tame her down. She was a Russian Blue cat and was beautiful. We enjoyed watching her race up and down the long hallway of our house. All we saw was this grey flash going by. She had quite the personality.
We noticed that she was not eating her food back in July. After several attempts at getting her to eat, we took her to the vet. She was at the vet's for three days, recieving I.V. therapy. After bringing her home and trying to get her to eat still, we realized that she was jaundiced and confused. We had to make the decision that she was not going to get better, without putting a feeding tube down her. So, with great tears shed, Brian took her back to the vet where they did the duty of putting her out of her misery in a humane way. We will miss Miss Kitty greatly.
GOODBYE DEAR PET...YOU WERE LOVED.